The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 56


1 Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed.


Happy is the man who does this, the son of man who holds to it; Who keeps the sabbath free from profanation, and his hand from any evildoing.


2 Let not the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the LORD, "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people"; Nor let the eunuch say, "See, I am a dry tree."


For thus says the LORD: To the eunuchs who observe my sabbaths and choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant,


3 I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name Better than sons and daughters; an eternal, imperishable name will I give them.


And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, Loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants -  All who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant,


Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; Their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.


Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: Others will I gather to him besides those already gathered.


4 5 All you wild beasts of the field, come and eat, all you beasts in the forest!


My watchmen are blind, all of them unaware; They are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; Dreaming as they lie there, loving their sleep.


They are relentless dogs, they know not when they have enough. These are the shepherds who know no discretion; Each of them goes his own way, every one of them to his own gain:


"Come, I will fetch some wine; let us carouse with strong drink, And tomorrow will be like today, or even greater."



1 [1-8] Participation in the future messianic salvation is offered to all who believe in the Lord and keep his commandments, regardless of origin or social condition.

2 [3] Eunuchs had originally been excluded from the community of the Lord; cf Deut 23:2; Wisdom 3:14. Dry tree: unable to produce the fruit of offspring.

3 [5] A monument and a name: a memorial inscription to prevent oblivion for one who had no children; cf 2 Sam 18:18; Nehemiah 7:15; 13:14.

4 [ 56:9- 57:13] This section is apparently preexilic, written in the manner of the older prophets who condemned the pagan rites of Baal worship.

5 [9] Wild beasts: foreign nations, which are invited to come and ravage Israel.

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